Alternating Hymn

by Rose Kelleher

“Thus, in religion and morals, the decadent mystics say:
‘Let us have the fragrance of sacred purity without the
sorrows of self-restraint; let us sing hymns alternately
to the Virgin and Priapus.’”
―G. K. Chesterton

Hail Mary, virgin mother,
crowned, majestic, barefoot servant,
mother and child of God Almighty.

Hail the son of Aphrodite,
donkey-ugly son of beauty,
victim, victor, friend, aggressor.

Hail merciful intercessor,
gentle weeper, serpent trampler,
unassuming superhuman.

Hail Priapus, roaming yeoman,
wizened prince of baby-making,
well-endowment and affliction.

Hail the gods of contradiction,
check and balance, imperfection,
twin temptation and resistance
locked in clashing co-existence.

Read Lilt, co-edited by Rose Kelleher, at